Information For

From the Desk of Dr. Karen Haynes

President's Welcome

This webpage of presidential updates delivers on my pledge of open and clear communication with the Cal State San Marcos campus community. Along with my speeches, open forums, and video messages, these timely web reports will convey my thoughts about pressing issues and recent events directly to all of you, and this new avenue of communications seems fitting for our tech-savvy 21st-century campus! As I am a firm believer in two-way communication, I hope you will send me your thoughts via my e-mailbox. I'm eager to hear what's on your mind and learn which topics you might like me to address in future reports.

May 30, 2014
It's On - CSUSM Holds Commencement, Celebrates

Top: Helicopter dropping fire retardent near campus Bottom Left: President Haynes with students moving out of student housing, Bottom Right Top: Chief of Police Robert McManus and President Haynes. Bottom Right: President Haynes with studentThe days leading up to commencement are often a whirlwind of activity and celebrations. Graduation parties are being planned, caps and gowns are being picked up, and the university is making its final preparations to mark the achievements of students. That was certainly the case at Cal State San Marcos … until the fires.

COEHHS students throwing their caps in the air.As the final chairs were being put in place on Mangrum Field, and the commencement stage was being set, CSUSM was evacuated. The Cocos fires were encroaching, burning through the hillside and toward campus. We thankfully got all staff, students and administration off campus as the fires grew closer. Our emergency response team quickly gathered and set up a command post to monitor the situation. It was Wednesday, late afternoon. (read more)

May 14, 2014
Commencement Update

As a first-generation college student myself, I understand the importance and significance of crossing the stage at Commencement to receive a degree. It not only has special meaning for you but also for your extended family and friends who have supported you in your journey along the way.

Canceling Commencement was not a decision we took lightly and we are saddened by the circumstances. Safety continues to be our first concern.

Our thoughts are with those in our community that are being impacted by the wildfires and we thank our region’s first responders for their dedication and support.

We will continue to keep you updated.

April 16, 2014
A New Beat at CSUSM

Can you feel that? There’s a new beat at Cal State San Marcos, and it’s courtesy of our new

University Student Union (USU). Opened for the start of the Spring 2014 semester, we are officially celebrating the union’s opening over the next two weeks with a variety of activities and events, including the Grand Opening Celebration, which was held outside on a perfect Southern California day in our USU amphitheater.

Hundreds of guests, from CSUSM students, staff and faculty to alumni and community supporters, gathered for a short program, where they heard how a student union has been part of the Cal State San Marcos Master Plan since 1992. But, as I said in my remarks, the real planning for today’s union began in 2006, and it took the foresight of my leadership team and plenty of input from students to get us where we are today — with an amazing space that has quickly become the heartbeat of campus. (read more)

March 18, 2014
Marching into 2014

Leadership Education and Development Retreat

We are less than three full months into the New Year, but Cal State San Marcos has been full of energy and excitement since the first days of January. Perhaps it has something to do with the new

Student Union that opened just after the semester began. Or maybe it’s because our men’s basketball team won its first-ever Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Division I Conference Championship. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that CSUSM is the campus to be on right now.

I know this to be true because I have heard it repeatedly as I have met with various groups and delivered remarks across campus and in our community. January started with a lively Q&A session with Vivienne Bennett, chair of the Academic Senate, at the Academic Spring Assembly, where faculty gather to discuss the semester. I followed that with our annual

Faculty and Staff Awards, a celebration of the best of our employees.  It’s always good energy and a good way to start the year. (read more)

January 22, 2014
Welcome to Spring 2014

University Student Union

Happy New Year! I hope that you enjoyed the holiday season and that you were able to relax and spend time with loved ones.

This week not only marks the beginning of the spring 2014 semester, it also marks a significant time at Cal State San Marcos as we open our new University Student Union. Staff and administrators moved in over the holiday break, and the finishing touches are being in put in place, but the building’s opening has already leant new energy to our campus. I invite you to explore all of the Union’s offerings in person or online. (read more)

December 17, 2013
2013-2014 President's Faculty and Staff Award

Recipients of the President's Faculty and Staff Awards

I am pleased to announce this year's President's Awards for faculty and staff.

President's Award for Inclusive Excellence and Diversity
Sharon Elise, Sociology, CHABSS

President's Outstanding Faculty Award for Outstanding
Lecturer Laura Makey, Liberal Studies, CHABSS

President's Outstanding Faculty Award for Scholarship and Creative Activity
Betsy Read, Biological Sciences, CSM

President's Outstanding Faculty Award for Service Leadership
Jacqueline Trischman, Chemistry & Biochemistry, CSM

President's Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching Innovation & Excellence
Merryl Goldberg, Visual & Performing Arts, CHABSS

Employees of the Year
Robert Aiello-Hauser, LGBTQ Pride Center
Marilyn Huerta, Arts & Lectures

December 10, 2013 2013-2014
Zomalt Outstanding Service Award

Wayne Veres, Zomalt Award Recipient

Upon the recommendation of the Executive Council, I am pleased to announce that Wayne Veres, dean and chief information officer for IITS and dean of the Library, is the 2013-2014 Zomalt Outstanding Service Award honoree.

Mr. Veres joined CSUSM in 1999 and has served as the IITS dean since 2004. In 2012 he graciously agreed to add the role of interim library dean to his list of duties.  Mr. Veres has been steadfast in building relationships across campus, encouraging innovation, creating a sense of community and fostering a can-do spirit among departments. He does all of this with integrity and, as such, is a trusted member of the campus leadership team. (read more)

November 18, 2014
Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award

Prof. Elizabeth Matthews, Brakebill 2013-2014 Recipient

Upon the recommendation of the Faculty Awards Selection Committee (FASC), I am pleased to announce that Dr. Elizabeth Matthews, associate professor of political science and co-director of the global studies program in the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences, is the recipient of the 2013-2014 Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award. Dr. Matthews’s innovative and impactful pedagogy contributes to our commitment to being a student-centered institution and has earned her praise from students and faculty alike. She is tireless in her service to her students, dedicated to her research and focused on the effective teaching of complex global issues. These are but a few of the reasons that make Dr. Matthews richly deserving of this highest faculty honor.

Dr. Matthews earned her Ph.D. in political science from UCLA in 2002 and came to CSUSM in 2007. In only her third year as faculty, she was honored with the President’s Award for Teaching Innovation and Excellence for her ability to cover complex and often difficult themes such as genocide and international relations in a manner that encourages thoughtful consideration and discussion of the material. (read more)

September 30, 2013
A Fast and Full Start to Fall

Student Trustee Cipriano Vargas with President Haynes

The fall semester is off to a fast start. We welcomed 12,000 students to campus, our largest class ever. We opened phase II of the Quad

student housing, and our athletics teams are already posting banner seasons. The energy and excitement are palpable, especially as we continue to watch our student union take shape and anticipate its spring opening.

Campus Connect with President HaynesFor me, fall always brings a host of events, a chance for me to reconnect with our supporters and our campus community. The semester began with my annual President’s Circle reception. The event brings current and potential donors to campus to hear from students, staff and faculty about the good work that we are doing here. This year, guests heard from Dr. Lorena Meza, vice president for student affairs, student Trustee Cipriano Vargas, and Brittany Forrester, a former foster youth set to graduate in May.

A few evenings later, I was delighted to welcome members of the Rancho Sante Fe Foundation to campus for an event to support military veterans through higher education.  The foundation made a generous donation toward our new veteran’s center. (Read more about A Fast and Full Start to Fall)

August 28, 2013
Welcome Back: A Time to Celebrate

Welcome to the 2013/14 academic year at Cal State San Marcos. This week not only marks the beginning of classes, but Monday marked

Women’s Equality Day, commemorating women’s right to vote; and today marks the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, the day when more than 250,000 people gathered near the Lincoln Memorial and were inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

The speech marked a significant period in the civil rights struggle and was proclaimed as one of the greatest demonstrations of freedom ever seen in Washington D.C. People from the flat prairie lands of the Midwest to the bustling cities of the Northeast and the sun-splashed sands of the West came together in solidarity, in brotherhood. It is a moment that many of us remember for it poignancy and its purpose: Equality for all. (Read more about

Welcome Back: A Time to Celebrate)

August 14, 2013
President Haynes' Triennial Review

To view an open letter from CSU Chancellor Timothy White regarding President Karen Haynes' most recent review please visit:

June 8, 2013
A Mad, Mad Affair

Guests at University Gala

One of the most anticipated summer events at Cal State San Marcos after commencement is the annual Foundation Gala. Every June, new and old friends of the university gather for an evening of festivities in support of our scholarship fund. The theme this year, “Mad About CSUSM,” brought out many a dapper gentleman and numerous classy ladies. Everyone was in on the good times, posing for pictures and shimmying across the dance floor.

The night is always a joyous one as it marks an opportunity to share the successes of the university, faculty and students with our community — and all for a good cause: student scholarships. So many of our students depend on scholarships to help fund their educational dreams that without the support of our generous donors, some students would have to forego college.

You can hear the stories of CSUSM scholarship recipients by clicking on this YouTube link:

To find out how you can contribute to the scholarship fund or become involved in university activities, visit the: CSUSM Giving website.

(Read more about A Mad, Mad Affair)